Skele­ton Crew

TIME­PIECES RE­VEAL THEIR IN­NER BEAUTY THROUGH SMART EN­GI­NEER­ING AND ART­FUL EN­GRAV­ING

Hong Kong Tatler - - Watches - Edited by Sean Li

The cre­ation of an open­worked watch is an ar­du­ous process, be­gin­ning with a lengthy con­sid­er­a­tion of non-es­sen­tial parts that can be trimmed away from the move­ment and what can later be dec­o­rated with en­grav­ing. To do this, the ex­pe­ri­ence of a master watch­maker is es­sen­tial—they hol­low out as much ma­te­rial as pos­si­ble while en­sur­ing that the move­ment re­mains per­fectly func­tional, re­sult­ing in a watch that is truly a work of art.

Vacheron Con­stantin is one of the true ex­perts in the field of skele­ton time­pieces. And as if pro­duc­ing a ton­neau-shaped cal­i­bre wasn’t chal­leng­ing enough, the brand raises the bar fur­ther with the Malte Tour­bil­lon Open­worked model—cre­at­ing an orig­i­nal ar­chi­tec­tural mo­tif based on the shape of a tri­an­gle and en­grav­ing this by hand onto the vis­i­ble parts of the move­ment, a process that takes 500 hours.

Aude­mars Piguet im­presses with its 39mm Royal Oak Open­worked Ex­tra-thin Watch, which boasts such metic­u­lous skele­ton work that many ar­gue it is one of the best of its kind. The time­piece fea­tures a self-wind­ing cal­i­bre that is given the same slate-grey fin­ish as the dial, lend­ing the piece a con­tem­po­rary look in strik­ing con­trast to its pink gold case.

Roger Dubuis high­lights a com­pli­ca­tion that’s be­come some­what of a spe­cial­ity of the brand—the dou­ble fly­ing tour­bil­lon—in the best way pos­si­ble by en­cas­ing it in a very much skele­tonised struc­ture. Ever faith­ful to the codes of the Ex­cal­ibur line, the Ex­cal­ibur Skele­ton Dou­ble Fly­ing Tour­bil­lon fea­tures the col­lec­tion’s iden­ti­fi­able round case with its sig­na­ture steely fluted bezel and burly crown guard. This pink gold ver­sion with a black ce­ramic bezel comes in a limited pro­duc­tion of only 188 pieces.

CLOCK­WISE FROM TOP LEFT: VACHERON CON­STANTIN MALTE TOUR­BIL­LON OPEN­WORKED WATCH; A WATCH­MAKER WORKS ON SKELETONISING THE MOVE­MENT; ROGER DUBUIS EX­CAL­IBUR SKELE­TON DOU­BLE FLY­ING TOUR­BIL­LON; AUDE­MARS PIGUET ROYAL OAK OPEN­WORKED EX­TRA- THIN

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